Car seats provide protection and stability for kids while riding but when improperly installed can often lead to serious injuries or even deaths of children in car crashes. Midway Fire Rescue wanted to help parents and caregivers by having a free child car seat safety check point.
On Friday, Jan. 24 parents were given the opportunity to have their child’s car seat properly inspected and installed by over two dozens of Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians at Midway Fire Rescue station located in Pawleys Island. The day before, firefighters were trained for their installation certification through SCDHEC’s training program.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reports that nine out of ten car seats are improperly installed in SC. This statistic is what prompted them to have the drive-through clinic, according to Lieutenant Fire Inspector James McGloin Jr., so that they can help reduce the number in their community.
“The important thing here with being a checkpoint is to check the seat to make sure it’s in properly,” McGloin said.
McGloin said that this clinic also has their technicians examine to see if the child is the right age and size for the seat along with any recall made on the parts of the seat. He said that they have a couple of people a week come into the fire station to have their car seat installed.
“Every vehicle is different, every manufacturer is different,” McGloin said, “We see vehicles of all different ages and like anything else those regulations change. You may have an older vehicle and have a different seat beat in it than a newer vehicle. So, a lot of times, parents might get confused as to what seat belt is there and that will change how to use the seat belt in order to secure the car seat to the seat.”
In a SCDHEC report, it was found that 59% children’s car seats were used incorrectly and if installed properly can lower the risk of infant death by 71% and 54% death by toddlers.
Kevin Porre of SCDHEC said that firefighters, EMCs, law enforcement and SCDHEC health departments have certified technicians that can install a car seat properly. He said that anyone can be certified and that you must be over 18 years old to take the program.
A car seat installment can be done anytime at one of the fire stations. An appointment can also be made anytime by calling the fire station at 843-545-3620.